On the global battlefront for tech firms to pay for news, French News Agency AFP has filed a copyright lawsuit against social media giant Twitter, recently rebranded as X and owned by billionaire Elon Musk. The agency accuses X of a 'clear refusal' to discuss 'neighbouring rights' – a regime introduced by a 2019 EU law which mandates payments for sharing content.
AFP is pursuing access to data that would allow them to estimate a fair level of compensation for the use of their content on the platform. A statement from AFP reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to this cause, vowing to continue legal action to ensure the fair distribution of value generated by the sharing of news content.
While some French media outlets have won victories, garnering payment agreements from Google and Facebook
, other tech companies have pushed back. This week, Meta blocked Canadian users of Facebook
and Instagram from viewing news organisations' posts, in response to a law mandating content compensation. Google has threatened similar action, and both have opposed analogous proposals in Australia. They are accused of siphoning off money from traditional news outlets while freely using their content. However, X, being a much smaller platform, has so far escaped such scrutiny."